Saturday, April 21, 2018

From Ian:

Trump’s State Department no longer calls West Bank ‘occupied’ in annual report
The US State Department released its annual report on human rights violations around the world on Friday, and there was at least one discernible difference from past reports: It no longer refers to the West Bank as “occupied.”

Whereas previous iterations of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices had a section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” this year’s document refers instead to “Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza.”

Last December, it was reported that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman asked the State Department to stop calling the West Bank occupied, which would make a noted departure in US policy.

No indication of any change in that regard had materialized — until now.

In the past, Friedman had made remarks that were rebuffed by Washington as not reflecting official policy. Last September, for instance, he told Israel’s Walla news site he thought “the settlements are part of Israel.” State Dept. Spokesperson Heather Nauert later told reporters his comments marked no shift in the US position. Before his confirmation to the diplomatic role, Friedman was a staunch settlements supporter and columnist for right-wing Israeli publications.

The report released Friday also noted that the final status of Jerusalem, which US President Donald Trump has formally recognized as Israel’s capital while making plans to relocate the US embassy there, was still a matter of talks between both sides.

“On December 6, 2017, the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the report said. “It is the position of the United States that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.”

Most of the rest of the report is similar to prior years, cataloging human rights abuses by by the Israeli Defense Forces, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Liberman hails US decision to drop ‘occupied’ from West Bank terminology
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday hailed a decision by the US State Department to drop the term “occupied” in a report referring to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, saying that the truth was finally being made plain.

“The lie of the occupied Palestinian territories is being exposed. They say that if you repeat a lie enough, it eventually becomes the truth, but the truth will always be stronger,” Liberman tweeted. “The announcement by the US state department is proof of that.”

Liberman, who as defense minister is responsible for administering the West Bank, was commenting after the US State Department released its annual report on human rights violations around the world on Friday, and no longer refered to the West Bank as “occupied.”

Whereas previous iterations of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices had a section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” this year’s document refers instead to “Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza.”
Abbas: We will continue to fight Trump’s Jerusalem decision
The Palestinians will not allow US President Donald Trump or anyone else to say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.

The Palestinians, Abbas said, will continue to fight Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as they have been doing for the past few months.

“The Palestinians will not allow any country to move its embassy to Jerusalem before there’s a solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict],” Abbas said, during a meeting with Arab delegates attending a conference in Ramallah on laboratory medicine.

On May 14, the US will hold an official dedication ceremony for the US embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.

Trump, who formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the embassy relocation on December 6, had mulled attending the inauguration but reportedly decided against it.

So far, the US and Guatemala are the only two countries that have formally announced such a move, but Israel says other countries are also mulling moving their missions.

Abbas told the delegates that he hopes that their next conference will be held in Jerusalem, “our eternal capital.”

Mossad blamed for death of Hamas-affiliated engineer in Malaysia
A Hamas-affiliated Palestinian engineer from the Gaza Strip was shot dead on Saturday near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in an assassination blamed on Israel’s Mossad.

Gaza-based Palestinian news site Safa reported that 35-year-old Dr. Fadi Mohammed al-Batsh was leaving a mosque after morning prayers in town of Gombak when he was struck by close to 20 bullets fired by two people on a motorcycle.

In a statement released on their website Hamas said that Batash “was working for the Palestinian cause.”

"The Islamic Resistance Movement, mourns the son of its sons, the righteous, and a knight of its knights, a scholar of young Palestine scholars and the guardian of the Book of Allah, the son of Jabalia the Mujahideen," read the statement.

"The martyr was distinguished by his excellence and scientific creativity and has important contributions in this area and participated in international conferences in the field of energy.The martyr was an example in calling God and working for the Palestinian cause."

Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batash accused Israel’s Mossad of being responsible for the assassination and calling on Malaysian Authorities to conduct a “comprehensive and rapid investigation” before his killers escaped.
Hamas threatens revenge against Israel for killing of drone and rocket expert
The Hamas terrorist organization on Saturday threatened retaliation against Israel for the killing in Malaysia of an electrical engineer it said was a commander of its military wing. Israeli reports said the dead man was an expert on attack drone and rocket systems.

Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of killing Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day and vowed revenge: “Mossad is not away from this disgraceful, terrible crime. There will be an unsettled account between us and it,” Haniyeh said at a Gaza mourning tent for Batsh. “We cannot give up on the blood of our sons, youths, and scholars.”

Batsh’s family in Gaza also accused Mossad of killing him: “We accuse the Mossad of being behind the assassination.” Israel had no official comment.

Hebrew media reports said Gaza-born scientist Batsh had published material recently on drone development, and on transmitters for controlling drones.

If Israel was behind the hit, Israel’s Channel 10 reported, then the Mossad was evidently focusing on preventing advanced technologies from reaching Hamas.
Four weeks and five controversies in recent Gaza clashes
Four weeks of clashes on the Gaza border with Israel have resulted in thousands of wounded Palestinians and dozens killed. Despite the decreasing numbers present at the weekly Friday rallies, the ‘Great March of Return’ has been sustained by the residents of Gaza. Amid the clashes several important incidents involving stand out as symbolic of the conflict.

The use of live fire and snipers
Israel announced that it was deployed snipers to the Gaza border in the lead up to the first mass rallies on March 30. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman urged Palestinians via Twitter to stay away from the border. “Those who approach the fence today are putting themselves in danger.” The IDF continued with the messages through April 20th, warning in leaflets dropped over Gaza that Hamas was using the protests as a way to carry out terror attacks. “Avoid approaching the fence and damaging it,” the leaflets read.

Israel has used live fire against the protesters who approach the fence. According the Gaza health ministry more than 1,000 have been shot by live fire. B’tselem called on Israeli soldiers to refuse to fire on unarmed Palestinian protesters “The use of live ammunition against unarmed persons who pose no danger to anyone is unlawful,” the human rights NGO statement said on April 3. The United Nations human rights office urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force on April 6. On April 19 Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s Middle East envoy tweeted that Palestinians in Gaza have the right to protest their dire humanitarian circumstances.” The EU also called on the IDF to refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protestors. Although the number of Palestinians injured in live fire decreased over the four weeks of protests, Israel’s policy did not appear to change and Israel continued to insist that the protests were primarily cover for terrorist attacks.

Yaser Murtaja
On Friday, April 6 Yaser Murtaja was shot and killed near Khan Yunis. He was wearing a blue journalist-style flak jacket marked with the word “press.” Friends recalled a thirty-year old journalist who wanted to travel abroad and had worked with international media. Israel asserted that Murtaja was a terrorist. The Prime Minister’s Office spokesmen claimed that Murtaja held the rank of captain, had once been associated with the military wing of Hamas and was on its payroll since 2011. The International Federation of Journalists, which had documented a case where Murtaja was assaulted by Hamas members in 2015, accused Israel of “fabricating lies to justify murder.”

The sniper video
A video of Israeli soldiers cheering as a Palestinian was shot by a sniper emerged on April 9. Although the video allegedly depicts a shooting that took place months before the major protests, it was seen as symbolic of what was taking place in Gaza. It was greeted with mixed reactions in Israel. Yes Atid leader Yair Lapid said he had full faith in the IDF to investigate the video. Education Minister Naftali Bennet criticized those who were outraged by the video. “TO sit in Tel Aviv and criticize combat soldiers is illegitimate, to judge them while they protect our borders is illegitimate.” The Palestinian shot on the video said he was not instigating violence when he was shot.

Army said to find slain Gaza teen was trying to damage border fence when shot
An initial IDF investigation into the killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy during protests along the Gaza fence indicated that he was trying to damage the barrier, Channel 10 TV reported Saturday.

The Israeli army said Friday it was looking into the death of the teen, identified as Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub. Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Ayoub having been shot in the head. The killing drew harsh international condemnation, with the EU adding its voice on Saturday.

The army said that Ayoub had apparently crossed over an initial barbed wire barrier and was heading toward the main border fence when he was shot, Channel 10 reported.

The army later released photographs showing young boys taking part in attempts to breach the barrier.

Liberman says Hamas to blame for death of 15-year-old in Gaza
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday blamed Hamas for the reported death of a 15-year-old Palestinian during clashes in the Gaza Strip.

“The leaders of Hamas are the only culprits in the death of the boy, the cowardly leaders who hide behind children and women and send them forward as human shields so that they can continue digging attack tunnels and carrying out terror attacks against the State of Israel,” Liberman said.

The defense minister urged the citizens of Gaza not to approach the security fence dividing Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said Friday it was looking into the reported death of the teen, identified as Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub. Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Ayoub having been shot in the head.

The military told Channel 10 news it was investigating the video and the incident as a whole. Four Palestinians were reported killed during Friday’s violence.
U.N. envoy condemns Israel for killing Palestinian child on Gaza border
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov condemned Israel on Friday for the death of a Palestinian child during recent clashes on the Israel-Gaza border.

Writing on Twitter, Mladenov said: "It is OUTRAGEOUS to shoot at children! How does the killing of a child in #Gaza today help #peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing. #Children must be protected from #violence, not exposed to it, not killed! This tragic incident must be investigated."
It is OUTRAGEOUS to shoot at children! How does the killing of a child in #Gaza today help #peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing. #Children must be protected from #violence, not exposed to it, not killed! This tragic incident must be investigated.
— Nickolay E. MLADENOV (@nmladenov) April 20, 2018
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's party, Yisrael Beytenu, tweeted late Friday in response to Mladenov: "When will you tweet something against the Hamas terrorist organization that sends children to a dangerous border area? Israel takes all legal measures to protect its border, while encouraging a terrorist organization to harm us. You are a two-faced man in an unnecessary job."

Liberman himself blamed the Hamas leadership in Gaza for the 15-year-old boy's death.
Natalie Portman on prize snub: ‘I didn’t want to appear to endorse Netanyahu’
Actress Natalie Portman on Friday explained her decision to snub a prestigious Israeli prize known as the “Jewish Nobel,” saying she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Jerusalem-born Portman was to have received the award in Israel in June and said in a statement issued late Friday that her reasons for skipping the ceremony had been “mischaracterized” by others.

“Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony,” she wrote.

“I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it,” she said, referring to a Palestinian-led global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. “Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance.”

News of Portman’s decision to skip the event triggered an angry backlash Friday from some in the Israeli political establishment.
Likud attacks ‘hypocrite’ Natalie Portman after actress snubs Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party on Saturday slammed actress Natalie Portman as a ‘hypocrite’ after she made it clear that she was refusing to come to Israel to accept a prestigious prize known as the “Jewish Nobel” because she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Netanyahu, who was set to speak at the ceremony.

“Such hypocrisy! Natalie Portman speaks about democracy but she supported the V15 organization that tried, through foreign government funding, to disrupt democratic elections in Israel,” the Likud statement said, referring to an effort aided by a US-funded group that ostensibly tried to unseat Netanyahu in the 2015 national elections.

Portman reportedly made a video for V15 — in response to a video Chuck Norris Made for the Likud — but it was never released. The state comptroller has cleared the V15 organization of inappropriate political meddling during the 2015 election, which it was accused of by the Likud party.

“Portman speaks about human rights but takes part in festivals in countries that censor films and whose human rights record is far beneath that of Israel,” the Likud statement added, without going into specifics.

“No excuse can help. Portman simply refuses to accept the choice of the people of Israel,” the Likud said.
Israeli minister to Natalie Portman: You have been fooled by Hamas propaganda
An Israeli minister wrote to Natalie Portman on Friday after she decided not to come to Israel to receive the so-called “Jewish Nobel” awarded by the Genesis Prize Foundation, telling her she had been hoodwinked by Hamas propaganda and inviting the Jerusalem-born Hollywood star to come and see the truth.

Portman had initially agreed to accept the $2 million award at a ceremony scheduled for June.

But on Thursday, the foundation said that it had been notified by Portman’s representative that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

“It appears that the events to which you are referring are those that took place on our border with Gaza,” Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wrote to Portman.

“Sadly, it seems that you have been influenced by the campaign of media misinformation and lies regarding Gaza orchestrated by the Hamas terrorist group,” he said inviting her to come and tour the border, its communities and the IDF soldiers guarding it.
Snubbing Israel, Natalie Portman won’t get to distribute Genesis Prize money
Natalie Portman will no longer get to choose where her $2 million Genesis Prize will be donated after saying she will not travel to Israel to receive the award.

Instead, the Genesis Prize Foundation will decide where the money goes.

Portman is refusing to travel to Israel to receive the prize because “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” the foundation announced Thursday. It has canceled the award ceremony in June as a result.

The prize, known as the “Jewish Nobel,” has been awarded annually for five years. Portman was announced as the 2018 laureate in November for a prize that “honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.”
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Protesters at “Don’t Bomb Syria” Protest Show Mind-blowing Ignorance About Syria
This next video by the Israel Advocacy Movement is described by them as “quite possibly the funniest and most worrying video” they’ve ever filmed.” And you’ll see why.

Stumbling across a Stop the War Coalition “Don’t Bomb Syria” protest in Bristol, they decided to film asking protesters what is going on in Syria.

If ignorance is bliss, then what you are witnessing is cloud nine.

As you could see from some of the protesters interviewed, many in the Stop the War Coalition are also anti-Israel. A few years ago they quietly deleted articles from their website advocating war against Israel. But let’s face it: abject ignorance and hatred of Israel go hand-in-hand.

Amb. Alan Baker: Israel’s Contribution to the Modern Evolution of International Law
The uniqueness of the State of Israel in virtually every possible sphere and aspect – historic, religious, social, legal, political, and strategic – has dictated, and continues to dictate, its special character and place in the community of nations.

This is typified by the following:
  • A country that came into existence in realization of the internationally accepted and acknowledged historic right of the Jewish People to reestablish its historic homeland;
  • A people that raised itself from the ashes of the Holocaust that decimated the Jewish communities of Europe, successfully built a viable, vibrant, multi-cultural and multi-religious state and society, and absorbed mass immigration, yet is still faced with the same age-old anti-Semitism;
  • A country that upon its establishment was formally accepted as a full member of the family of nations, yet is denied to this day its basic UN Charter right of sovereign equality;
  • A country that from the moment it came into existence was denied recognition and rejected by its neighbors and has since been faced with existential threats, military aggression, and constant terror;
  • A country that from its establishment and up to the present day faces continuous international, regional, economic, and cultural boycott;
  • A country that has constantly been and continues to be illogically and discriminately singled out by international and regional organizations and by many states, out of all logical proportion to issues plaguing the world and in utter disregard of such issues;
  • A country that despite all the above figures as a major actor in the international community, contributing to civilization and humanity through technological and cultural innovation in all spheres of daily life.
Forty UN Ambassadors from Around the World Visit Israel to Celebrate 70th Independence Day
Forty United Nations ambassadors representing nations in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere, visited Israel to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern Jewish State, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The group of ambassadors visited sites across the country, including Masada, the Dead Sea, the border with Gaza, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. On Thursday, they attended an Independence Day event at the President’s residence and met with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The ambassadors, led by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, had arrived in Israel earlier in the week and met with top government officials including Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Afterwards, they toured the Old City of Jerusalem.

Ethiopian Ambassador Tekeda Alemu described the group’s visit to the Western Wall as “fantastic,” adding, “My fellow ambassadors and I learned many lessons. One lesson was the fact that there is a clear connection between the Old City of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. That is something that cannot be ignored.”

Volodymyr Yelchenko, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, called Jerusalem a “great place,” and said, “I wish for Jerusalem to be a place for peace and to remain such a place forever.”
Czech PM says country will open honorary consulate, not embassy in Jerusalem
Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said that his country is unlikely to follow the US and move its embassy to Jerusalem, but is still interested in boosting its presence in the city.

The Czech Republic will open a new honorary consulate in Jerusalem in the next few months, Babis said Friday, according to Radio Prague. Babis also said that the government was considering opening a Czech center in the city during a planned visit to Israel by its president, Milos Zeman, at the end of 2018.

According to the Radio Prague report, Babis does not want to break with the EU position, which holds that the issue of Jerusalem needs to first be resolved in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Babis believed that opening a Czech consulate would not violate those principles, the radio report said.

Israel had been hopeful that the Czechs would follow US President Donald Trump and several other nations who have promised to move their missions.
Congressional reps pen letter requesting U.S. Army acquire Iron Dome
Congressional representatives Grace Meng (D-NY) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) authored this week a letter fo the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense urging the "immediate acquisition" of the Iron Dome missile system.

“Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East, and ensuring its safety and security has been one of my top priorities since I cam to Congress,” Meng said in the letter.

The letter requests $500 million for American-Israeli defense cooperation, including $70 million allocated specifically for the Iron Dome missile defense system. The amount is the same that has been allocated in the President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Missile Defense Administration budget. In the same budget, Israel has been allocated a total sum of $3.3 billion.

Roskam, who is co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, added that “US-Israel missile defense cooperation is a critical investment in the safety and security of Israel and stability in the Middle East.”

Meng and Roskam also requested nearly $200 million for continued development of David’s Sling, the joint American-Israeli missile interceptor military system.

The two wrote that they “envision the possibility of utilizing US-Israeli missile defense systems beyond the Middle East.”
Iran threatens to ‘annihilate’ Israel, as Hezbollah boasts of reach of rockets
The head of the Iranian army on Saturday said Iranian forces were working to “annihilate” Israel and predicted they would achieve success within 25 years.

The threats from the Commander of Iran’s Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi come amid almost daily warnings of conflict from Tehran and Jerusalem, heightened by an alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian base in Syria earlier in the month.

“When the arrogant powers create a sanctuary for the Zionist regime to continue survival, we shouldn’t allow one day to be added to the ominous and illegitimate life of this regime,” Mousavi told a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, according to the Fars news agency.

“The Army will move hand in hand with the IRGC so that the arrogant system will collapse and the Zionist regime will be annihilated,” General Moussavi said, refering to the Revolutionary Guards.

He predicted this would take place with in 25 years, a number frequently used by the Iranian leadership.
Iranian general warns all Israel air bases ‘within reach,’ no escape but the sea
The vice commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned Israel Friday that its airbases are “within reach” and Iran’s “hands are on the trigger and missiles are ready,” in apparent reaction to Israel’s publication on Tuesday of a map showing five Tehran-controlled bases in Syria, and boasted that Israel will have nowhere to go but the sea.

“Israel: Don’t trust in your airbases; they’re within reach,” Hossein Salami wrote on Twitter, also making similar comments in a fiery speech.

Israel, said Hossein Salami, was living “in the dragon’s mouth.” Both northern and western Israel were “in the range of our missiles,” he threatened, in a speech given in Tehran.

“Wherever you are in the occupied land, you’ll be under fire from us, from east and west. You became arrogant. If there’s a war, the result will be your complete elimination,” he said.

“Your soldiers and civilians will flee, and you won’t survive. And you’ll have nowhere to run, except to fall into the sea.”

Earlier on Twitter he warned Israel should not rely on outside help.

“Don’t have hope in US and UK; when they arrive, you’re not there… Smallest goal will be your existence. You can’t bear. When you escape, you’ll have no way but to the sea.”
North Korea says will stop nuclear tests, scrap test site
North Korea said on Saturday it would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests, scrap its nuclear test site and instead pursue economic growth and peace, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had completed its goal of developing the weapons, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Kim is scheduled to hold talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week and with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June.

The pledge to halt the development of nuclear weapons, initiated by his grandfather, would mean a significant reversal for Kim, 34, who for years has celebrated such weapons as a pillar of his regime’s legitimacy and power.

A testing freeze and commitment to close the test site alone would fall short of Washington's demand that Pyongyang completely dismantle all its nuclear weapons and missiles.
Former German FM says regrets calling Israel 'apartheid regime'
Germany’s former foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday that he regretted comparing the Jewish state to the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

“I would not repeat this tough comparison again,” said Gabriel in an interview with the daily Die Welt.

In 2012, Gabriel termed Israeli control over the West Ban city of Hebron an "apartheid regime" in a Facebook post. He reiterated this comparison at a meeting with German Muslims in December 2017, saying that his visit to Hebron reminded him of "what was seen during apartheid." In his recent interview, he described Israeli control of Hebron as catastrophic.

The EU and US-designated terrorist organization Hamas praised Gabriel for his comparison in January 2018 on its Twitter feed.

Gabriel told Die Welt that he would not compare Israel to apartheid "Israel is a democratic state" in particular with respect to the ongoing investigations surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He said this type of judicial process "probably would not have been possible" in apartheid South Africa.

Gabriel told the paper that “the occupation regime in Hebron is creating catastrophic human tragedies for the Palestinians.” He cited an example of a disabled child who required emergency care but faced delays because of the need to secure permission from the Israeli army before seeing medical help outside the city.
‘Definition of Insanity’: Israel Loses at George Washington University
I was contacted last year by Jewish students from George Washington University who were preparing to defend Israel against a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution that night. The resolution demanded that the educational institution divest from all companies that do business with Israel.

The students sent me the resolution, and I knew that even reading it would be a waste of my time. I’ve already seen more than 100 of these cookie-cutter anti-Israel resolutions. (There have been 117 BDS resolutions at colleges and universities.) The GW proposal was no different.

The students wanted responses to all of the claims made against Israel. I said that continuing to defend the Jewish state against antisemitic BDS resolutions was a losing strategy and a major reason that we’re losing the BDS war on campuses.

BDS, which is led by Islamic fundamentalists and pushed forward by extreme-left progressive and Jewish groups, creates a narrative through lies that we continue to try to defend against. Each time they bring another anti-Israel resolution to a university, BDS gets a new forum in which to spread its vile propaganda.

The problem with BDS is reminiscent of the stereotypical loaded question: “Have you stopped beating your wife?” The question itself contains an assumption that is taken for granted: Whether you answer “yes” or “no,” you are admitting having beaten your wife. Similarly here, any response is simply giving credence to the lies that the BDS promoters are trying to propagate. We are not educating the other side nor influencing impartial bystanders. The debates only give a platform to promulgating the usual antisemitic tropes against Israel.
Michael Lumish: An Open Letter to Food & Wine Magazine Concerning Its Honoring of Racist Cafe Owner Reem Assil
Dear Ms. Gail Simmons,

My wife and I have been fans of your work on “Top Chef” since the 2006 opening season in San Francisco. We also briefly talked with you at the Grapes to Glass wine festival in Sonoma a few years ago. You were representing Food & Wine there and we just dropped by to say “hello” as fans. I am also, by the way, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, a PhD in American history, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

The reason that I am writing is to sincerely request that Food & Wine reverse its decision to honor Reem Assil’s culinary efforts in Oakland, by naming her “Reem’s California” bakery among the Food & Wine Restaurants of the Year for 2018.

It is hopefully not your fault, but Food & Wine is making a serious mistake. By venerating the antisemitic murderer Rasmea Odeh, Reem Assil is popularizing hatred for Jewish people in day-to-day retail spaces within the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reem’s flatbread and coffee-shop features a floor-to-ceiling mural of the murderer of Jewish college students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. They were barely out of their teens in Jerusalem from the Hebrew University when Rasmea Odeh shattered their bones all over the Supersol grocery store in 1969 on behalf of the PFLP. This is essentially the same group that pushed 69-year-old wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer off of the deck of the Achille Lauro during a cruise with his wife in celebration of their 36th wedding anniversary.
MEMRI: Saudi Scholar Saad Ibn Abdullah Al-Humayd: What Is Written In 'The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion' Is Translated Into Reality
Saudi scholar Sheikh Saad ibn Abdullah Al-Humayd, said that although we have no proof of the authenticity of "The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion," the films produced by Hollywood and "the feverish competition meant to preoccupy people with the arts, with sports, with theater, and with film" is evidence that "The Protocols" are being implemented in reality. "Who sponsors this and takes care of this? It is the handiwork of the Jews and of Jewish capital," concluded Sheikh Al-Humayd, who is a professor of hadith studies at King Saud University, Riyadh, and who appears frequently on Saudi television. The interview aired on the Saudi Wesal TV channel on March 21.

"The Feverish Competition Meant To Preoccupy The People With The Arts, With Sports, With Theater, And With Films... They Drown The People In Such An Atmosphere"

Sheikh Saad ibn Abdullah Al-Humayd: "Some people question the authenticity The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and indeed, we have some questions about this book. It's not clear how the news about so secret an organization can spread everywhere, especially since these people hold such power, as we all know. One cannot feel certain about [the authenticity] of their method, which seems to be making every effort to let people know about The Protocols.

"These are the kind of things that raise doubts about such a book. However, if we look at reality, we see that what appears in this book is implemented. Is it, in fact, possible that these Jews wrote this book, and intentionally spread the news about it, in order to weaken the resolve of the people? Is it possible that they had studied the psychological effect that might be caused by reading such a book, and reached the conclusion that this psychological effect would serve them well? It's possible. Only Allah knows. At any rate, we do not have proof for the authenticity of The Protocols, except for what exists in reality."

American Model Kate Upton Shares Photos From Her Trip to Israel
American model Kate Upton shared with her Twitter followers on Thursday photos from her recent trip to Israel.

The 25-year-old uploaded three pictures onto social media, one showing her and a friend riding camels. She said she loved the Jewish state and that visiting Israel had been on her bucket list.

The model did not reveal when she arrived in the country and how long she would stay for, but the Israeli magazine Pnai Plus shared a picture of Upton visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem last week.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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